Here’s my top 3 books for sports betting. Each one serves a different purpose, and elaborates on the concepts that I write about on this site.
1. Sports Trading on Betfair
Profitable Betting Exchange Systems
In the past 15 years, the betting industry in the UK and Ireland has changed beyond recognition. While technology has made it easier than ever to place a bet, for most people making a profit from sports betting remains as tricky as ever. Yet there are a growing number of traders, some of which have no previous sports betting experience, making handsome profits from exchanges like Betfair and Betdaq. In Sports Trading on Betfair, sports trader Wayne Bailey explains the dynamics of odds movement, how prices move and why – and more importantly, describes in detail the systems and strategies he uses on a daily basis to profit from the betting exchanges.
With a background in both financial trading and sports betting, Bailey explains how we can merge those two disciplines to understand the market and find ways to finally beat the books. Bailey focuses largely on horseracing but the principles and strategies described within this book can be applied to most sports.
If you’re new to Sports Trading then you will quickly discover that there’s very few genuinely helpful titles. But this book is informative as well as mildly entertaining. It provides sensible advice without being too “stuffy” or “textbook-like”. As a result, it’s an easy read packed with information on how and why odds move — which is right up my street.
By applying his knowledge and experience in Financial Trading, Bailey covers the whole spectrum of Sports Trading on Betfair. He presents new ideas as well as the tried and tested methods, and encourages his reader to think for themselves. He’s realistic, and makes no promises. He emphasises that you have to put in a lot of hard work to make it pay. I concur that there are no quick fixes to earning from trading on the betting exchange, and it’s refreshing to learn that the author struggled himself early on.
So if you’re looking to learn the ins & outs of the Betfair exchange, and some common sense rules that you should apply when trading, then i recommend buying this book (and reading this Blog, of course).
2. Programming for Betfair
A Guide to Creating Sports Trading Applications with API-NG
The Betfair exchange, coupled with its API, permits a suitably skilled trader to code complex trading applications, which would not look out of place in the financial markets. This book offers a sports trader the chance to build their own trading applications, regardless of their programming ability.
Each chapter of Programming for Betfair contains snippets of code that combine to create a complete trading application. The application is geared towards horse racing but can easily be adapted to other sports on Betfair’s exchange. Using Microsoft’s Visual Studio (downloadable for free) the reader is shown how to code an application that will gather prices for any market on Betfair’s exchange and then place bets into that market.
The reader is shown how to automate their trading so that they can remove emotion from their trades and scale up their trading for increased profits. Further development of the application permits it to save data from Betfair onto the reader’s hard drive for offline analysis and visualisation in a spreadsheet for the purpose of building trading algorithms. Also covered is an enhancement of Betfair’s charts so that charts can be automatically updated and compared.
The final chapter of the book discusses ideas for taking the application and the reader’s skills to the next level. Topics discussed include constructing your own trading indicators, volume analysis, trend following, arbitrage, low-latency trading and many more.
Building an automated program is the way forward for Betfair traders with big aspirations. So if you have a desire build your own application using the new Betfair API then this book is a great place to start your journey. It has over 170 pages help guide you through the learning process.
Each chapter contains code snippets that combine to create a complete application and you can re-use them to build your own bespoke application. James explains everything in a step-by-step approach which is perfect for people with little or no knowledge of Betfair’s API-NG. With a bit of patience and perseverance you’ll see your application build as you complete each chapter.
James has also provided a webpage to compliment the book that provides any updates or amendments that might be necessary and also assists developers who posts on the page.
Personally, I find that programming can be like shooting in the dark if you don’t have sufficient examples (i.e. relevant code segments) demonstrating what you’re trying to achieve. I can program myself, but at times I require things to be spelled out — thankfully this title does exactly that.
3. OptaJoe’s Football Yearbook 2016
That thing you thought? Think the opposite.
Football is a game of opinions. A world where received wisdom and the law of the hunch reign supreme. But football is becoming more intelligent. The history books may say that Leicester City winning the premier league ‘defied logic’, but if you looked more closely, they were always going to win . . .
From distances run to pass success rate, shots on target to corners won, counter-attacks to tackles made, Opta, the world’s leading sports data company, records everything. But what does it all mean? And how can it add to our love of the game?
From the author and statistician behind the popular OptaJoe Twitter account, what follows is a hugely entertaining and insightful guide to football in 2016, analysing data from the world’s greatest teams, players, leagues and tournaments.
Stats can never tell us everything, but combining cutting-edge analysis with wry humour, this book debunks countless myths peddled by pundits, managers, and even players. The ideas that follow are both surprising and satisfying, but may also leave you with the feeling that ‘yes, that’s what I was thinking all along’.
Statistical analysis of sports is growing in popularity. Duncan Alexander — or “Opta Joe” — has stolen a march on his rivals and brought out a Football Yearbook for the new breed of football fans who wish to gorge themselves on player and team statistics. It’s witty, enjoyable and defies what most know-it-all fans believe to be true.
Adjusting the way you think about sports is essential if you’re to become a truly successful, unbiased, sports trader. Although this title is not specifically intended for betting applications, it helps to broaden your knowledge and understanding of how Football is really played, and what factors have a genuine impact.
There’s an interesting segment on the impact of Cristiano Ronaldo over the years, furnished with statistics that clearly demonstrate his value both as a team-mate and as an individual. He is also the only current footballer known to have scored against the so-called “evil axis” of Iran, North Korea and, not least — Millwall.
On a personal level I can relate to this book. The author has written it with the same intentions as I have some of my own blog posts. It aims to surprise and enlighten the reader on interesting, little-known, or unexpected facts. To be honest, it does this a lot more effectively than I do, which isn’t surprising considering the enormous amount of data that Opta have to hand…
It really highlights how statistics can defy what we, the public, think about sport. Our often-incorrect, reasoning is precisely why value betting opportunities sometimes arise.
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